Jazz to Give Ailing Celtics the Blues in ESPN Matchup

celtics jazz

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Boston dribbles into Utah shorthanded as the injury bug has bitten the Celtics mightily down the homestretch of the season. Let’s check out how these playoff contending teams match up. 

Celtics (51-23 SU, 44-27-3 ATS) at Jazz (42-32 SU, 39-35 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Jazz -7Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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  • Utah is 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5.
  • Utah is 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS win.
  • Utah is 4-1 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Utah is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite.
  • Boston is 0-1 ATS vs. Utah this season.

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The usual suspects were in on the fun in this edition of @WasatchFord Dunks of the Week 🏀 pic.twitter.com/H9az9QIunb

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 28, 2018
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The Celtics wrap up their four-game road trip with a stop in Salt Lake City on Thursday and are gunning for their fifth consecutive win. Monday night in Phoenix proved to be another notch in the win column as they defeated the Suns 102-94 but failed to cover the 10-point impost. Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum continues to impress as he led the team with 23 points and a pair of steals. Power forward Marcus Morris scored 20 points in 23 minutes before departing with a lingering ankle injury. Morris will not be active for tonight’s game.

The Jazz are fighting for their playoff lives in the logjam that is the Western Conference. There are eight spots available but only four games separate No. 4 Oklahoma City from No. 10 Denver. Utah is directly in the thick of things, currently seeded seventh, and desperately need wins as the season grinds to a halt. The Jazz had reeled off nine consecutive wins before being stunned by the lowly Atlanta Hawks 99-94 as 13-point home chalk eight days ago. After that head-shaking loss, Utah embarked on a three-game road swing where they defeated the Mavericks, lost to the Spurs and in their last outing crushed the undermanned Warriors 110-91.

The Jazz will face a similarly challenged opponent tonight. This was supposed to be a homecoming for former Jazz All-Star Gordon Hayward, but his season ended shortly after it began when Hayward broke his leg in gruesome fashion in Boston’s first game of the season. Fast forward to tonight and the injury count now includes resident superstar Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis and the latest casualty Morris. Therefore the offensive burden will be shouldered yet again by Tatum. However, Utah has its own flashy rookie in Donovan Mitchell, who is a top contender for the coveted Rookie of the Year Award.

Eventually, injuries catch up and after a quick glance at the NBA odds board, it appears that the oddsmakers believe that it could very well happen tonight to the Celtics. Utah is currently a 7 to 7½ point favorite, a line that has already climbed a full point since the opener, over a team that could legitimately be battling for an NBA title in June. In their only meeting this season, held in mid-December, Utah claimed a 107-95 win in Boston despite 33 points by Irving. Utah has the motivation, the manpower and the talent to not only win this game but cover the number. Let’s lay the lumber and back Utah in our NBA picks on Wednesday night.

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